I would like to start by thanking my uncle David for his all help and the information that he has given me. This blog post is collaboration between the two of us.
My Tommy is my great-granddad Alfred Hullah. Alfred, or Alfie as he was known, was born on 16 September 1894 in Cardiff to Edward John and Elizabeth Anne Hullah (nee Davies) and was one of twelve children. Alfie spent most of his early years in Portsmouth where his father was a property manager of the Theatre Royal (RG 14/5562).
Unfortunately, as a result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office record store in London in 1940 Alfred’s service records, like those of many other First World War soldiers, have not survived. We have managed to use various sources to piece Alfie’s story together from family stories and information, unit war diaries held here, contemporary newspaper reports and a history of The South Wales Borderers.
In July 1912, adding a year on to his age, Alfie enlisted at the regimental depot of the 1st South Wales Borderers in Brecon, Wales to serve for seven years with the colours and five years with the reserve. Despite the breaking down of Anglo-German relations, Alfie could not have dreamt that two years later he would be engaged in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, the Battle of Langemarck. It would be this battle where Alfie would be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his bravery under enemy fire.